Caravan and boat lockers broken into at Albert Falls

2019-02-15 14:35
Hillcrest man Tony Coull stands in front of his caravan, which was one of 16 to be broken into at a storage facility at Albert Falls Dam.

Hillcrest man Tony Coull stands in front of his caravan, which was one of 16 to be broken into at a storage facility at Albert Falls Dam. (Kerushun Pillay)

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Sixteen caravans and boat lockers have been broken into at a storage facility at Albert Falls Dam — right near a staff house.

The incident happened last Friday and boat and caravan owners who use the storage facility were notified via e-mail on Monday.

It is believed that intruders snipped through the fenced-off compartments where the caravans and boats are kept and completely ransacked them, taking items like batteries and appliances.

A stretch of dense bush is behind the storage facility, and caravan owners said they had noticed holes being cut in fences around the storage site in previous years.

A caravan owner, Hillcrest man Tony Coull, said owners were advised by Msinsi Resorts and Game Reserves, which the dam falls under, to assess the damage and open a case with police.

The Witness visited the site as Coull saw for the first time the wreckage left by intruders.

His caravan was completely ransacked, with his belongings strewn across the floor and furniture turned over. It appeared as if the robbers had searched every nook and cranny of the small caravan Coull has owned for about a decade.

Thieves appeared to have gained access to his caravan’s compartment by cutting the fence.

He said he lost a microwave, stove, battery, radio, glasses, blankets, sleeping bags and clothing.

Only the caravan door was damaged, he said.

Police confirmed they were investigating a case of theft out of a motor vehicle in reference to Coull’s caravan.

He estimated he suffered R60 000 in losses.

“I’m devastated; this caravan is our home from home,” he said.

Coull said his family use the caravan for holidays and travel as far as Cape Town and the Kruger park with it. He pays R430 a month to store his caravan at Albert Falls.

Coull’s son’s caravan is also parked at the storage facility, but Coull was unable to assess the damage of that caravan since he did not have a key to access it.

However, deck chairs and other items were strewn outside the caravan.

“This happened less than 20 metres from the main entrance which has 24/7 security.

“I’m going to assess the damage, open a police case, then tow away my caravan. I thought it would be safe here.”

Msinsi said it was conducting an internal investigation.

The organisation confirmed it had opened a case with police and will contact caravan and boat owners once it is concluded.

“The conclusion of the internal investigation will be a guide in identifying the mitigating measures to be put in place.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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